Second Life creator returns to lay claim to the Metaverse

Founder of Linden Lab’s online virtual world Second Life, Philip Rosedale, will rejoin the project as a strategic advisor to guide its entry into the Metaverse.

While he is negative about content interoperability in the Metaverse, describing it as “a total failure”, he believes that an NFT-based future is the way to go in the long run.

Second Life is an online social gaming universe that launched in 2003, when the word “Metaverse” was only used by Neal Stephenson fans.

Since leaving his position as CEO of Linden Labs in 2008, Rosedale has made a name for himself in the virtual reality (VR) ecosystem. In 2013, he created the social virtual reality company, High Fidelity.

In a Jan. 13 announcement, High Fidelity said it is investing in Linden Labs with cash and what it describes as “distributed computing patents,” including two related to community moderation in decentralized environments.

“Virtual worlds don’t need to be dystopias,” Rosedale said.

“Big tech giving away VR headsets and building a metaverse on their ad-driven behavior modification platforms is not going to create a one-size-fits-all digital utopia.”

How will the future be?

In an interview with Cnet Technology, Rosedale said that beyond exploring the possibility of adding VR technology to Second Life, advanced avatar animations using face-tracking cameras could also be a future possibility.

“Using the webcam to animate an avatar is a really interesting interlude,” he said. “Not enough people are watching that space, it’s one I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.”

As for the possibility of incorporating new ideas as non-expendable interoperable elements into Second Life, Rosedale will have to be convinced. In the Metaverse, interoperable content is items that can be purchased on one platform and transferred to another.

He referenced how branded content can negatively break the fourth wall on Metaverse platforms, saying that in the short term, “content interoperability is one of those things only a brand could love.”

“As a way to further connect the games to each other, it’s a total flop. The short-term idea is dumb.”

However, he did not shy away from the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), saying that the “long-term idea is totally correct.” Second Life already has its own economy and currency, “Linden Dollars”.

Related: Meta steals staff from Microsoft and Apple for metaverse plans

According to Rosedale, 375 million items are sold on the Second Life marketplace each year, for about $2 each. In his opinion, these items are already essentially NFTs.

“That’s all NFTs, basically the core idea of ​​allowing digital assets to be marked and allowing them to be tradable and shareable,” he said, adding that this concept is only “going to get bigger and bigger. Of course, these items within Second Life are not recorded on the blockchain and therefore cannot exist outside of the game, which are essential properties of NFTs.

Now in its 19th year of operation, Second Life claims an annual GDP of $650 million, with more than 8 million unique items sold on its Marketplace.

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